Friday, June 29, 2018

South London Forever - Florence and The Machine

Possibly slightly biased, but the best track on Florence and the Machine's new album 'High as Hope' (released today) is 'South London Forever'. 

The opening lyrics go:

'When I go home alone
I drive past the place where I was born
And the places that I used to drink
Young and drunk and stumbling in the street
Outside the Joiners Arms like foals unsteady on their feet
With the art students and the boys in bands
High on E and holding hands with someone that I just met

I thought "it doesn't get better than this,
There can be nothing better than this
Better than this"

And we climbed onto the roof of the museum
And someone made love in the grounds
And I forgot my name on the way back to my mother's house'

The Joiners is obviously the famous Camberwell pub on Denmark Hill. I went to some mad 1990s parties round the back of there myself, remember seeing RDF and spinning around to techno in one of those gyroscope things.

The Joiners - photo by Philip C on Yelp
Florence Welch told the Sunday Times (15 June 2018) that the museum was the Horniman in Forest Hill:

'I think that song is about this… blink, almost. I was on the roof of the Horniman Museum, being a teenager, you know ‘woah’. Then I blinked, and 4 albums later, it’s “oh my God, there’s a whole other section of life I’m supposed to figure out. When do I do that?”. Obviously that's got lots of people thinking about the logistics and dangers of climbing on the roof - the main building is very high, maybe she meant the single storey grass roofed library building? Or maybe she used her Flo Fairy wings to hover up...

In another song on the album, 'Grace', Flo sings 'I don't think it would be too long before I was drunk in Camberwell again'. Hey hon we've all been there.

Florence did a photo shoot at William Morris's Red House in Bexley for recent Observer piece
(photo by Phil Fisk)
Makes me feel old but it's nearly ten years since I predicted that 2009 would be the year that 'red-headed young women from South London conquer the world' referring to Florence and La Roux. The latter's been a bit out of the limelight of late but has recently totally lifted the Whyte Horses track 'The Best of It' with a guest vocal.

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